I would say he was truly radical in his own time, paving an alternative way to the ever dominant New Look, although he never risked being placed at the margins of the haute couture system. He pushed fashion forward just enough to become one of its most prominent leaders, combining his radical vision with the widely accepted norm. However, his was a progressive experimentation, which initiated in the early 1940s and ended only with his retirement in 1968. Balenciaga worked with a small set of ideas that he kept coming back to and subjecting to progressive refinement. Very often, he introduced a radical silhouette that seemed to be ahead of his time, like the so called sack dress of 1957, and he would revisit the sack in consecutive seasons with more “moderate” versions that came to be seen as “acceptable” by his rather conservative clientele.